Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Week 1: Differentiation and Exit Tickets

While the purpose of this blog being set up was to post atleast once a week, the fact is I started 2 weeks late.  So I will be back tracking a bit, and talking about my observations and learned strategies and methods. I will be looking back through my observations notes and materials I have gathered in order to maintain for this week's catch up.

Differentiated instructions can seem intense, since it calls for a knowledge of each student, their abilities, their background knowledge, and even a bit of their family history.  All of this is used to guide lessons to best suit all students within a classroom and meet all the needs that a teacher and student could come across.  I have heard this is an impossible feat, but I am learning there are some very easy ways to add differentiated instruction to parts of the daily routines of class.  One simple method of introducing this is to offer different (and leveled) Exit Ticket questions.  For those who may not be familiar with Exit Tickets, they are typically used at the end of a class as a formative assessment to see if students are gaining the concepts presented during the day's lesson.  By allowing students to self-choose which problem they would like to answer, it hits upon several important factors of a student's academics.    When a student is allowed to choose their work (in a guided way) they take ownership of it moreso than they would if it was purely assigned work.  By giving students the options of choosing from levels, can help their confidence in their answer and their confidence in talking about it as part of a small group or as a whole class.  This is what differentiating instruction is about; allowing students to learn in the way the need in a way that is equitable within the classroom.

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